Saturday, 11 January 2014

Wanted (2008)


In a post-Matrix post-300 world, Nochnoy Dozor writer/director Timur Bekmambetov brings us a flash, funky, duplicitous tale of assassins, family values and curving bullets.  Yup, you heard that right; curving bullets!  Wesley (James McAvoy) is an average nobody in a dead end job, until someone tries to kill him in a supermarket and Fox (Angelina Jolie) suddenly appears to improvise a rescue.  Wesley soon learns that he has a historical connection to the "Brotherhood" of assassins to which Fox belongs.

When Wesley's world is turned upside down James McAvoy immediately turns the air blue and I feared he wasn't going to be right for the role at all.  However, he soon settles down and was actually pretty good.  Whether the fact that he is the best thing in a film that stars Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp and Angelina Jolie is because he’s a better actor or because the others don’t bring their "A" game is probably obvious, though McAvoy does prove he can mix it with some of the best.

Released in the same year as (the inferior) Max Payne, Wanted has more of a resemblance to the Matrix-inspired computer game (2001) than the Wachowski Brother's game changer itself.  This is not as bad as it sounds; it means that some logic is given for the assassins' ability to slow time down and make a single fatal shot at an otherwise impossible angle; and since Mitchell Arundel is DOP (Transformers, Mission Impossible III and Ghost Protocol) it looks pretty cool too.  However, because there have been other films with slow-mo effects, Wanted doesn’t really do anything new, which lets it down and left me wanting more.  Having said that I found it entertaining enough to keep me awake to past 1 o'clock in the morning, which is saying something.  But, well, you know, that’s just, like, er, my opinion, man.